Tuesday, August 24, 2010
A place of our own
It sits, now, in Ms. Conroy's favorite spot in the sun room at Llangollen, our wee cottage which used to be our vacation/retreat place, which we are now making our year-round home on the marsh lands of Rehoboth Bay, part of the Delmarva Peninsula, in the 'first state' of Delaware.
Ms. Conroy's position as Clinical Director of an inpatient hospice unit in Northern New Jersey is not as "portable" as mine or some others. In a little over a year's time, she will transfer to a new inpatient hospice facility which is being planned just up the road a piece.
Until then, she'll stay in a small apartment with a friend in NJ. We'll commute as often as we can - she coming here two or three weekends a month and me going up to NJ for various commitments I still have to things diocesan and local.
We've done this before, this "commuting thing". It was 1991 when I took my first position in the great Diocese of Newark. It was only supposed to be "for a few months". She and our youngest daughter moved to NJ from Baltimore, MD in 1993. We've called NJ "home" ever since.
On September 1, Delaware will officially become our home. I've just put in a bottle of champagne to chill for the occasion. It's a bit like waiting for Christmas.
If "home is where the heart is" then this has really been our home all along. It's just taking some time to finally "arrive".
It seemed important to me to create a space - a place - for Ms. Conroy in her favorite spot in the house. It's in the South West corner. If she looks toward the West, she can see Indian River just past Long Neck Road where the sea bass have been especially plentiful this year, I understand.
If she looks toward the East, she can see Rehoboth Bay and the boats coming and going on their way to go fishing or crabbing or just the experience of the sheer joy of being on a boat in the water.
If she looks directly ahead, to the North, can see into the living room, the new office/library, and the front door - the place where our two dogs, Mr. Lenny and Ms. CoCo provide endless entertainment in what we've come to call "Dog TV".
Sometimes, for absolutely no discernible reason, Lenny and CoCo get what Ms. Conroy calls "puppy crazies". They chase each other round and round - from the living room to the window in the library/office and back again.
They run and run and run. Stop suddenly, panting. Then, they take off again. Until someone calls - or 'barks' - uncle. And then, it stops and they collapse in an exhausted heap at our feet.
It's great fun to watch them. "Dog TV". We never grow tired of the reruns. And, they're all reruns.
This spot is "her" place. Here. At home. Where the heart is.
We all need that place. Doesn't have to be very big. Indeed, most of the places of the heart are not very fancy or opulent. It needs not be large at all. It simply needs to be big enough to hold your genuine hopes and dreams, your sincere longings and the deep desires of your heart.
This is that place for Ms. Conroy. Mine is directly across the room, past the table where we gather when the family is all together and share a meal, play board or card games, or talk long into the evening with a glass of wine or mug of steaming hot tea.
Sometimes, when it's quiet, we'll both look up from our places, aroused by the memory of laughter or conversation that sometimes floats above that table. And we share a deep, satisfied smile before we return to reading, or needlework or our laptops.
It will be good to have her here, full time.
Until then, she has a place of her own.
Waiting for her. Here. At home.